Special Events

Special Film Viewing: The Starfish Throwers

Join Alameda Backyard Growers and the Alameda Free Library for a free screening of the Award Winning Documentary, The Starfish Throwers’.

When: Sunday, April 2nd at 1:30 PM

Where: Community Meeting Room at the Alameda Free Library, 1550 Oak Street.

We will have light refreshments and information tables with food-oriented community organizations.

About The Starfish Throwers

Worlds apart, a five-star chef, a twelve year-old girl, and a retired schoolteacher discover how their individual efforts to feed the poor ignite a movement in the fight against hunger.

Award-winning chef Narayanan Krishnan, fighting against the caste system in India, quits his job to begin a life of cooking and hand-delivering fresh meals to hundreds of people in his hometown. Katie Stagliano’s planting of a single cabbage seedling when she was nine years old blossoms into Katie’s Krops, a non-profit with 73 gardens dedicated to ending hunger. Retired middle school teacher Mr. Law battles personal health issues as he hand delivers more than a thousand sandwiches nightly to the hungry in Minneapolis.

This documentary tells the tale of these remarkable individuals and the unexpected challenges they face. Despite being constantly reminded that hunger is far too big for one person to solve, they persevere and see their impact ripple further than their individual actions.

You can watch a trailer of the documentary here.

ABG in the 4th of July Parade

Alameda Backyard Growers rocked the Alameda 4th of July Parade thanks to the pollinator-inspired costumes and float design created and designed by Marla Koss and Cynthia LaCroix. Bikers and walkers dressed as bees chanted to save the bees and donate extra backyard fruit and vegetables to the Alameda Food Bank. Thanks to all of our supporters! See below for notes from Marla.

~ Cynthia’s theme of Pollinators and her vision for decorations (butterfly kites, white picket fence, bees and hummingbirds) came off beautifully–and if we don’t get a prize for it, then we say  ‘bzzzz!’ on the judging!

~ Feel-Good Bakery’s Rick came back to wow the crowd on his skateboard!

~ Our bike-riders (plus Rick on skateboard) made a gorgeous swirling swarm around us walkers and kept the energy level high (in the marchers and the crowd).

~ The Alameda Food Bank was the number just ahead of us, so all we had to do was point at the truck when we chanted about giving to the food bank.

~ The disparate and wonderful bee costumes made us look like the varied population of hymenoptera that work in our gardens every day.

~ Bruemmer Farewell Tour: Gary and Bailey, the Aussie Labradoodle, joined us for a little while; Amanda ditched the carrot costume and rode her bike. This was the Bruemmer’s final ABG parade, since they’ll be moving to a village near Avignon in the fall (oh, la!).

~ The usual perfect-driver award goes to Ron for keeping the truck at the right pace, even while chatting up the Brazilian babes with the fiery feathers and bare posteriors as we passed by their group on Lincoln near the start of the parade route.

Join us in the 4th of July Parade!


If you wish to join ABG’s entry into the 2016 Alameda 4th of July Parade, please read on. We will be dressed as pollinators and riding bikes (bring helmets and water):

1) ABG’s Number this year: 91 (out of 156). For those who didn’t know or don’t remember, we’ve been 124, 119 and 114, moving up a little each year. 91 is quite a jump forward in the parade order, so we should be pretty happy. It also means we’ll be moving sooner, so don’t be a late-comer if you can help it.

2) Which brings us to this next eye-opener: they want everybody to be near their assigned spot on Lincoln Ave. by 8:30 AM. We have scheduled our Tailgate Breakfast for 9 AM, so if you are bringing something to share, please note the change in time. I’ll be bringing coffee and tea and should be there by 8:30 AM in any case, so at least there will be something hot to drink to start with if it takes a while for folks to arrive.

3) It’s supposed to be about 60 degrees and partly cloudy by 8:30 AM on Monday morning; make sure you’ve got something to keep you warm while standing around. As most of us know, we work up a sweat while parading, so the slight chill won’t be a problem when we start to move and want to strut our costumes (or ABG T-shirts).

4) The Judges’ Stand has moved! It’s no longer on Park Street at all. It’s going to be on Otis Drive somewhere in the vicinity of South Shore Shopping Center (which has now become a partner with the parade committee). This will allow more room on Park Street for parade-viewers who want to set up their chairs in that area; it’ll also mean that groups will have to keep up their “A Game” well after Park Street, which should be more fun for the folks on Otis Drive.
5) There will no longer be a Review Stand on Webster Street calling out participants’ names and descriptions. So as with Park Street, this’ll give more room for viewers to comfortably set up near the finish line.

6) Channel 4, KRON, will be covering the parade. We were told “Look sharp! Bring your A Game!” I think we can all agree that Alameda has been long overdue for this sort of attention. Let’s show the rest of the Bay Area that WE’RE Alameda and THEY aren’t.

7) If you haven’t read or heard it yet, the Grand Marshall this year is Jim Sweeney. A brilliant choice and such a deserving fellow!

8) If you have to drop out somewhere along the parade route, you can do that. But we were advised that joining the parade along the way is not supposed to be allowed.

9) Non-emergency Alameda Police number during the parade is (510) 337-8340.

10) Hey, you bike riders! Helmet regulations will be enforced by the APD.

If you don’t want to wear a costume, we suggest this attire:

  • ABG/Project PICK T-shirt or plain green T-shirt
  • Pants or shorts with a back pocket
  • A pair of gardening gloves to tuck into that back pocket
  • Gardening hat or Cowboy / Cowgirl hat

Make sure you bring water, comfortable shoes, sunscreen and sunglasses! 




Food Waste Warehouse Tour – June 14

Tuesday, June 14, 2016
12:00 PM

Imperfect Produce Warehouse
1385 63rd Street
Emeryville, CA

Go on a guided tour of the world of food waste! Our tour will be at the Imperfect Produce warehouse in Emeryville – where you’ll see what types of produce are rejected by retailers, learn about the food waste epidemic starting at the farm, and hear what our community is doing about it!

p.s. Each warehouse tour comes with free samples of Imperfect Produce!

For more information click here.

Pruning for Fruit Production and Aesthetics – Nov. 21 @ Ploughshares

Saturday, November 21, 2015,  Noon to 1:45 pm

Ploughshares Nursery, 2701 Main Street, Alameda.

After a brief discussion and demonstration of basic pruning techniques from Jeff Bridge, there will be a pruning contest… because hey(!), Alameda Backyard Growers already know a LOT about pruning and probably can teach Jeff a thing or two.  Bring your pruners and gloves if you want to compete!

The top three best pruning jobs win prizes including a Ploughshares Gift Certificate, a pair of Felco Hand Pruners and a Kiwi Vine!  Its CONTEST time ABGer’s, so show us what you got!

About our Workshop Leader: Jeff Bridge has worked half his life in nurseries all over the Bay Area, including Orchard Nursery and Florist of Lafayette, Far West Nursery in Santa Cruz and Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco.  As manager of Ploughshares Nursery he is grateful for the opportunity to focus on native, drought tolerant and edible gardening to benefit society as well as working to end homelessness, as all profits at Ploughshares are used to maintain supportive housing on the old Alameda Naval Base for formerly homeless families and individuals.

Water Conservation Workshop

WaterConservationFlyer_sep2015Sponsored by Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan

Learn about:

  • The state of the drought in California
  • How to save water in-and-around your home
  • And how to turn your lawn into a drought tolerant yard

When: Saturday, Sep. 12, 2015 11AM – 1PM
Where: Alameda High School

RSVP: Call (510) 278-0367 or email karina.rivera@acgov.org

Click here to view PDF with more information.



July 4, 2015 Parade

Alameda Backyard Growers is coasting through the 4th of July Parade on bicycles this year! Families are encouraged to join in–for all or part of the parade route.  Attire is green shirt, work gloves stuck in a back pocket and bike helmet–or veggie/fruit-themed costume, if you dare! We are also encouraging handlebar bike bells, so we can ring in unison at certain intervals.